Regulatory Rundown: June/July 2023 Michigan Retailer

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Regulations Affecting Your Business

Retailers seeing nationwide fake cash card scam

Nationwide retail theft rings are increasingly using gift cards and fake cash cards to steal from retailers around the country. A group of three were caught in North Carolina using fake cash cards to trick sales clerks into accepting fraudulent payment. In this instance, the card looked like just a Wells Fargo card but includes instructions on the back for what the “customer” should tell the clerk to punch in. Retailers should train sales clerks to be suspicious whenever the customer tells them instructions on how to ring payment for a transaction. The money gained from organized retail crime scams like these are often funneled into other illegal activities.

Hands-free driving bills likely to become law on July 1

The Legislature recently sent bills (HB 4250-4252) creating a hands-free driving law and strengthening penalties to the governor’s desk. By the time this publication reaches mailboxes, we expect the bills will be signed into law and they will go into effect on July 1. The July 1 date was chosen since there are more traffic accidents in the summer months.

The new law will prohibit an individual from holding or using a mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle, including while it’s temporarily stopped. A first violation would be a $100 civil fine and/or perform 16 hours of community service and second or subsequent offense would carry a $250 fine and/ or 24 hours of community service. The fines are higher for commercial drivers driving with a CDL: $200 and/or 32 hours of community service and $500 and/or 48 hours of community service, respectively.

Enhanced protections for pregnant workers take effect June 27

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, requires businesses with 15 or more employees to provide “reasonable accommodations,” such as additional bathroom breaks or modified work duties, for workers who are limited by “pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions.” The law expands upon previous protections enshrined in the decades-old Americans With Disabilities Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is tasked with enforcing the law, has not yet proposed regulations governing how it will apply the new law and has a partisan deadlock preventing them from moving forward. Congress gave the EEOC until late December to finalize those rules. In the meantime, the EEOC has put out an FAQ outlining the law’s parameters, and an agency spokesperson said it is planning to host a webinar for employers. Despite a lack of formal rules, the EEOC should be able to enforce the full law and employers should be prepared to follow the new laws as of June 27.

New firearm sales regulations

Gov. Whitmer has signed into law legislation requiring anyone selling a firearm to run a background check and to check for extreme risk orders before selling to an individual. The laws prohibit the sale of a firearm to an individual without first performing a background check and prohibits the sale of a firearm to someone who has an extreme risk order on file. Other recently signed bills, Public Acts 14-15 of 2023, exempt firearm safety devices including gun locks, gun safes, ear and eye protection from the state’s sales and use taxes. The new laws will take effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns.

Reminder: Delivery and installation charges are not taxable as of April 26

As of April 26, delivery and installation charges should not be included in the “sales price” for sales tax purposes or the “purchase price” for use tax purposes if both the following conditions are met:

  • The charges are separately stated on the invoice, bill of sale, or similar document provided to the purchaser; and
  • The seller (taxpayer) maintains its books and records to show separately the transactions used to determine the sales tax or use tax, as applicable.

Delivery and installation charges that fail to satisfy the above conditions or that involve, or are related to, the sale of electricity, natural gas, or artificial gas by a utility remain subject to sales tax and use tax unless otherwise exempt.

Deadlines & Reminders

Monthly reminders:

  • Sales & Use Tax – Monthly & EFT – On or before the 20th day of the following month.
  • Withholding Tax – Monthly & EFT – On or before the 20th day of the following month.
  • Retailer’s Prepaid Wireless 911 Surcharge – Within 30 days of the close of each month. Receipt of a complete Form 5012 is required regardless of payment method.

Quarterly reminders:

  • Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Estimated Returns and Payments (Jan. 15, April 15, July 15, Oct. 15).
  • Sales & Use Tax – Quarterly & EFT – On or before the 20th day of the month following the quarter (Jan. 20, April 20, July 20, Oct. 20).
  • Withholding Tax – Quarterly – On or before the 20th day of the month following the quarter (Jan. 20, April 20, July 20, Oct. 20).
  • Unemployment Employer’s Quarterly Wage/Tax Reports (Jan. 25, April 25, July 25, Oct. 25).